A real temple of craftsmanship, quality and territoriality for two floors entirely dedicated to food. Below, the ancient shopkeepers (butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers etc.) and above, the best of gastronomic art in a super contemporary location. All this is the Central Market of Florence, an incredible combination that tells the stories of the Florentine territory in an excellent format.
If you manage to extricate yourself from the maze of market stalls in San Lorenzo without being swallowed up by the hordes of tourists that populate those streets every day, at some point you will come across an imposing structure in cast iron, iron and glass: here is the Central Market. The structure was built by Giuseppe Mengoni (who also built the Vittorio Emanuele II gallery in Milan, for instance) at the end of the 19th century, in the period in which Florence was the capital. The style is an explicit reference to European architecture, in particular to the Parisian one.
On the ground floor you can breathe the true air of the markets of the past: here old shopkeepers have been doing the job their father taught them for generations. Meat, cheese, fruit, vegetables, fish, spices, bread, leavened and all you can wish for. Lose yourself in the lanes of this intricate maze and let yourself be swept away by the colors and scents of a suggestive market that still retains its authenticity.
Once you have made your round, go up the escalators that will take you to the first floor where you will be overwhelmed by the light of the glass ceiling and the huge hanging straw decorations. This is the catering plan entirely dedicated to the excellence of the sector. Here you will find everything you are looking for and also what you didn’t know you wanted. Divided into stands, each one offers high quality cuisine that you can order at the counter and then sit in one of the many wooden tables located all around. To drink? The bar and the brewery are in the center of the complex. Although, if you prefer a somewhat quieter situation, you can access the second floor, a sort of private balcony overlooking the central “square” where every restaurateur has his space. Looking for some examples of the proposals? They range from meats and cold cuts to fresh pasta, cheese, mozzarella, fresh fish, fried foods, Chianina burgers, lampredotto, truffles, sandwiches and many others. Each has a specific name and a precise face and always a story to tell, made up of first-rate craftsmanship and excellence.
You will be spoiled for choice and you will not know which way to go before all those delicacies and you will surely opt for the Central Market one, two, three and many other times.